"International Women's Day" 3/08/2015 03:38:00 AM
I may be 10-12, we used to live in this 2 floor house we built in 30-50 sq ft land and has this very small porch w/ no fence. an open colony of 20-30 houses, a good size park in the center, should someone yell on the other side of the rectangular park, each door would open in no time and everyone would be on the street and began chitchatting, sometime squeamish, the gossip will suffice for a day long fun. One of those fine days, a monkey visited our lovely neighborhood. It must be early morning, around 7 am or so, should have been a Saturday or Sunday, or why would i'd be sitting on the porch, holding my toothbrush, my eyes glued in to fresh green leaves of a bean plant my mum was growing in the small front-yard. I must be in deep thinking, when my mom came out, shooked me a little - what are you doing here? and where is this monkey came from, I looked up, A huge monkey, old perhaps, sitting there like a statue, 4 feet away, just staring at me. Looks Hungry I guess, should get him some food I thought and announced. So my mother and I both went inside, I found a packet of roasted chana in the kitchen, thought the monkey would like it, I come out w/ the pack, throw it in front of the monkey and just sit there, watch. the fellow still doesn't move. I realize I have perhaps thrown like a immature spinner and ball stopped half way to the stumps, and he dint see it, so I slowly put two steps forward, bent my knees, try to reach the packet - just when the monkey grabs my long hair with both hands and next moment my 3rd eye is in his mouth.
The scream while he pulled my hair is all i remember, the time I wake up at the clinic. the doctor was giving me an injection, something I was very scared of then, I had a teeth mark on my forehead and a lifelong lesson in my head,- the road of good intention & karma is not going to be easy, and someone else CAN and would want to be happy at your expense. - The irony, however, I've been bitten again and again by the everyday monkeys ever since and But have I learned my lesson still, I wonder.
All these years, I have used that monkey's story as a metaphor and concluded it as "misunderstanding" in my mind, sometime doubting it to the conflict of interest, intentions of two people, perhaps and lately relying on the words of wisdom, an elderly friend/mentor once told me - not everyone is good, people can be bad, are bad in fact, yet I have always used grey as an excuse, because well, who am I to judge? not unless I have a personal story to attach to and prove it with.
Its almost 1AM here in New York, March 8th - International Woman's Day, today, Quotes beginning to float on twitter timeline, wishes flooding in - made me think, If I am a feminist? How I feel about Being a woman. The first thing that came to my mind, its being tough, crazy tough I would say, must have been easier I would've been my eldest brother I could've had but never had, and never me. I can feel the everyday struggle I have gone through over the years in my nerves right now as I write. well that monkey caused me some pain to begin w/ but He wasn't alone in doing so, and I don't remember it was him or her to blame the gender there really. My scout teacher pulled my hair for not standing in a certain position and roughed me so well in my very first class that it turned in my last BSG class, and I never went back again. The teacher was a she. The college I joined for my PhD studies, and work, the dean used me for a bone to get the software code, well If she hadn't said that herself, I would have never known, why I was assigned a certain project. In one office a colleague would bitch about my deep neck because our boss and her boyfriend, just shared two conversations w/ me on my PhD topic and In the other, a female lead would decimate and humiliate a newly joined in front of 20 people team just because well, she doesn't like fair north Indian girls.
In b/w the numerous instances of human interactions over the years, I have met many men who in one word, disgusted me, and I have seen them in all roles, be thy Teacher, colleagues, classmates, to so called friends, whom one'd blindly trust, and those experiences had left me shaken, and literally questioning the society and the norms. But somehow I never found myself nitpicking, or just hating a gender type, perhaps because I have seen equally devious and rude women may be a little less on the side of sexual harassment but mental. But well, It'll take another century for our society to grow to the level when they would put "mental raping" in to the category of an assault. Perhaps our society works on the simple math of who's dominating whom, makes the rules and declares the punishments.
With so much in the media going around lately, and specially the buzz word - Women Empowerment - in every ones agenda, I sometimes feel, what if the story of Solomon's Tree was true? It does somehow apply to women as well doesn't it? everyone including women themselves - keep telling, women are weak, they need empowerment, they need this - they need that, they should do this or that - what if you just tell them you're strong enough to take you decision about life - just go do it. - would n't that be much better, perhaps work better? well, I am fighting my own battle, and no matter what I go through -including daily roasting sessions in the corporate world - so much to hear from almost everyone - being judged - criticized for everything I 'am from top to bottom - But I am still doing what I want to do. and no I dint come from a wealthy modern family. A conservative - orthodox family, but parents and kids who grew together. I don't see why it can't be possible for anyone else? The incongruity of it all, everyone keeps telling everyone else to be inspired, to liberate, to equip oneself but forgets to grow him/herself.
Fighting fears and insecurity is never going to be easy, I still feel I live in a cocoon sometimes, What I don't stop doing or want to ever stop doing is to try overcome that fear on the daily basis, that's how one grows I have learned. Perhaps traveling is also one of the method or rather it is if not solely an attempt. I think One of the reasons I travel is because " Travel reinstate my faith in humans and society" I have always had positive experiences on the road. People helped me out, with out asking for anything in return. nature took care of me. I felt happy and loved, and hasn't that been motivating enough for me to live my life and do what I want to do, despite all doubts popping out of my head every time I attempt something new.
“She feels in italics and thinks in CAPITALS.” ― Henry James
Being a woman, well,again, but doesn't matter or does it really,? as long as 'strong' is what you feel, both physically & mentally, and think that you are strong enough to face anything and still dream? believe in yourself? I do not know or imagine a time when Men would want their day, and need a quote or two to make them feel good about themselves, But honestly Why assume there is or be any domination at all, If being a feminist means I feel I am equal and no less in love w/ my life now then If I was not born a girl, then I certainly am one. but if being feminist means I began the equation with inequality and unfairness then I am certainly not one. As for the society, fair / unfair, empowered or enslaved, the day you decide to take charge or your life and living it, change will happen. in you and soon around you as well.